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Mechanotransduction--the process by which mechanical forces are converted into changes of intracellular biochemistry--is critical for normal cell and tissue function. Integrins facilitate mechanochemical conversion by transferring physical forces from the extracellular matrix, across the cell surface, and to cytoskeletal-associated proteins within focal(More)
The ability to control the behavior of cells that interact with implanted biomaterials is desirable for the success of implanted devices such as biosensors or drug delivery devices. There is a need to develop materials that can limit the adhesion and viability of cells on implanted biomaterials. In this study, we investigated the use of zinc oxide (ZnO)(More)
Cells change their form and function by assembling actin stress fibers at their base and exerting traction forces on their extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesions. Individual stress fibers are thought to be actively tensed by the action of actomyosin motors and to function as elastic cables that structurally reinforce the basal portion of the cytoskeleton;(More)
The formation of focal adhesions that mediate alterations of cell shape and movement is controlled by a mechanochemical mechanism in which cytoskeletal tensional forces drive changes in molecular assembly; however, little is known about the molecular biophysical basis of this response. Here, we describe a method to measure the unbinding rate constant k(OFF)(More)
Analysis of how cells sense and respond to mechanical stress has been limited by the availability of techniques that can apply controlled mechanical forces to living cells while simultaneously measuring changes in cell and molecular distortion, as well as alterations of intracellular biochemistry. We have confronted this challenge by developing new(More)
To determine forces on intracellular microtubules, we measured shape changes of individual microtubules following laser severing in bovine capillary endothelial cells. Surprisingly, regions near newly created minus ends increased in curvature following severing, whereas regions near new microtubule plus ends depolymerized without any observable change in(More)
Cell interactions with nanostructures are of broad interest because of applications in controlling tissue response to biomedical implants. Here we show that dense and upright SiO2 coated nanorods nearly eliminate cell adhesion in fibroblasts and endothelial cells. The lack of adhesion is not due to a decrease in matrix protein adsorption on the(More)
Tensile force within non-muscle tissue cells is generated in actomyosin stress fibers, which are composed of contractile units called sarcomeres. The number of sarcomeres and sarcomere lengths dynamically change in the cell but the mechanisms by which these processes occur are not understood. Using live cell imaging of labeled sarcomeres, we show that(More)
Microtubules have a persistence length of the order of millimeters in vitro, but inside cells they bend over length scales of microns. It has been proposed that polymerization forces bend microtubules in the vicinity of the cell boundary or other obstacles, yet bends develop even when microtubules are polymerizing freely, unaffected by obstacles and cell(More)
Stress fibers are contractile bundles in the cytoskeleton that stabilize cell structure by exerting traction forces on the extracellular matrix. Individual stress fibers are molecular bundles composed of parallel actin and myosin filaments linked by various actin-binding proteins, which are organized end-on-end in a sarcomere-like pattern within an(More)